Letters — 06 August 2013 — by John Oliver

Dear Editor,

In his article in today’s Amandala, Janus describes the sailing activity as it must have been a few years before I arrived in Belize. Even at that time there were active sailors in the Seagull and Traditional Dories classes.

I joined the Seagull sailors as an active competitor in the Baron Bliss, and other regattas.
Even then, the owners were elderly, and some were ailing and have now become inactive. They failed to introduce other potential enthusiasts to the sport, and worse, failed to train youngsters in the craft of building wooden sailboats, and the skills of sailing them. A notable exception was Sir George Brown, who trained youth, primarily from Gales Point.

A group of enthusiasts formed the Belize Sailing Association just a few years ago, with the intention of reversing this decline, re-introducing the sport, at first with the children, using 8-foot Optimist dinghies, later in larger crafts, both for recreation, and eventually to encourage Belizean sailors into regional, international, even Olympic competition.

You can see us most weekend mornings sailing on Buttonwood Bay, from Maheia’s United yard, 4 1/2 Miles on the Philip Goldson Highway. Come and join us!

John Oliver

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